Thursday, February 23, 2012

Marie Colvin Killed in Syria, and the Story She Paid With Her Life to Tell

by Peter Bouckaert
Human Rights Watch

"She took to wearing a black patch over the eye she lost when shot in the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2001, and always seemed to have a notepad and a pen in her hand. She was inevitably in the midst of war’s chaos before the rest of us got there, proudly filing, as she did on Tuesday, as “the only British newspaper journalist” at the scene. She was a legend to all of us who cover conflict, and universally beloved for her inspiring courage and deep commitment to the work of reporting.

On Tuesday, after she filed her horror-filled account from Homs for her paper, The Sunday Times, she got in touch on Facebook to tell me just how horrific the situation in Homs was. We had worked closely together in Libya for the past year, strengthening an occasional friendship over the years into a deep and affectionate bond. As she was preparing to enter Syria last week, we compared notes several times, looking at the routes into the besieged city of Homs and assessing the risks she would face. Her drive and determination to report—to witness—overcame all of her fears, and she was absolutely determined to get in, somehow.....

Marie was a legendary reporter—she lived to report from war zones. The situation on the ground in Homs left her deeply shaken and feeling powerless, frustrated with the international politics that were paralyzing any coordinated international response to stop the horrific civilian casualties. On her last day of life, she watched a baby’s life slowly drift away, a casualty of the same shelling that would rob us of her just 24 hours later.

Not many of us have the courage and strength to experience war at such close range, and her powerful, loving voice is now forever silenced."

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